Thanksgiving flight cancelled or delayed? Check if you can claim compensation!

Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November, but many Americans around the world take the Friday after Thanksgiving as a day off, giving themselves a four-day weekend to travel far distances to see family and friends. For many, they might take this opportunity to fly to Europe or the United Kingdom to be tourists for the weekend, visit family and friends, and more! Many Americans living abroad will also take this time to travel back to the States to see their family.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to avoid facing a flight disruption during times of travel, but not to worry! There are certain laws in place that protect your rights as an air passenger. Keep reading to learn more!


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How do people like to celebrate Thanksgiving and what does the holiday entail?

Thanksgiving is a time of joy and celebration all across North America. On Thanksgiving, loved ones get together for a feast and other festivities in both Canada and the United States. Turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie are common ingredients in American traditional cuisine. Thanksgiving also has a long history of being associated with parades and football games. In the USA, the National Archives claims that Congress requested a national day of Thanksgiving from President George Washington. The "Day of Publick Thanksgivin" was accordingly established for Thursday, November 26, 1789.

If my flight to the USA is delayed, am I eligible for compensation?

You should be aware that there are laws in place to safeguard your rights as an airline passenger if your flight from the UK or Europe to the USA is delayed.

If your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation under EU regulation EU261 and its British equivalent, "The Air Passenger Rights and Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019."

The compensation for a delayed flight is based on the distance of your delayed flight, as indicated in the infographic below. However, keep in mind that you always fall into the last bracket if you travel from the UK or Europe to the United States, which means you may be eligible for flight compensation of up to £520.


  • For flights shorter than 1,500 km, the compensation is £220.

  • For flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km, the compensation is £350.

  • For flights of over 1,500 kilometres within the EU, the compensation is also £350.

  • For flights of over 3,500 kilometres outside of the EU, the compensation is £520 —but if your flight was delayed by fewer than 4 hours, the total amount might be reduced by 50%.


flight compensation amount



Can I file a claim for flight compensation if I'm flying from the USA to the UK or Europe?

Yes, as long as your airline is based in the UK or the EU.

For instance, if you are flying with Lufthansa or Air France, you are qualified for compensation for delayed and cancelled flights under UK/EU law.

Although, take note that if you are flying from the USA to Europe or the UK with an American airline like Delta Air Lines, you cannot receive flight compensation. In this case, your flight must have originated in the EU/UK to qualify for compensation under European regulations and its British equivalent.


compensation and refund rules for non-EU flights


Cancelled flight to the USA? You could get a refund and flight compensation!

If your flight to the USA is cancelled, you may be eligible for both a refund and compensation, depending on the specifics.

What distinguishes the two? Receiving a refund entails receiving the money you spent on the flight ticket for the now-cancelled trip. You are entitled to a refund in any situation when your flight to the USA has been cancelled without providing you with an alternative flight; this also applies if you were offered an alternative flight by the airline, but chose not to take it. Also, keep in mind that the airline is required by law to pay you actual money, not a travel voucher. Accepting a travel voucher is never a good idea because it obligates you to book another flight with the same airline again, and a deadline to redeem the voucher is typically set.


cancelled flight compensation rules


Can the airline refuse to pay me if my flight to the USA is delayed or cancelled?

Yes, but they might not be correct every time.

Airlines may refuse to pay you compensation in some situations because they believe you won't sue them, especially if you seek flight compensation for a flight to the USA without the assistance of a lawyer.

Passengers are not entitled to compensation in certain so-called extraordinary circumstances, which include the following:


  • Bad weather conditions, such as thick fog, heavy rain, or thunderstorms.

  • A strike, most often specifically within the aviation industry (for example, a strike of air traffic control workers at a specific airport).

    However, a strike of the airline's crew is not considered an extraordinary circumstance!

  • Political circumstances, such as a terrorist attack or general security risk due to political unrest.

  • Natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.

  • A collision between the aircraft and birds or other foreign objects.

  • An ill or unruly passenger.

  • Flight delays caused by the airport staff, such as extraordinarily long queues to security checks.


How do I make a claim for compensation if my flight to the USA is cancelled or delayed?

Using our simple online system, you may complete every step of filing a claim from your phone or computer. Simply provide the necessary flight-related information, followed by any requested supporting documentation, and we take it from there.

We'll handle all the paperwork and legal actions after this process is finished, allowing you to kick back and relax!


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